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Hygiene important in Swine Flu prevention

Mukul Vyas Last Updated: Friday, 14 April 2017 (19:58 IST)
Indian Medical Association (IMA) is concerned about rising cases of deaths due to swine flu in Pune, Nasik and Aurangabad. All IMA Branches have been advised to educate its members regarding the swine flu guidelines and report every case of suspected or confirmed flu to the local authorities.
 
Implementation of the respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and hand is very important for the prevention of swine flu, according to Dr KK Aggarwal, National President IMA and Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI). Respiratory hygiene involves maintaining a distance of at least 3 feet from the person who is coughing and sneezing.Cough etiquette involves covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze and put the used tissue in a waste basket. If one does not have a tissue one should cough and sneeze into the upper sleeves and not hands or handkerchief.
 
Frequently hand hygiene should be performed including before and after every patient contact; contact with potential infectious material and before putting on and after taking of personal protective equipment including gloves. Hand hygiene can be performed by washing with soap and water or by using alcohol based hand rubs. If hands are visibly soiled they should be washed with soap and water. Patients with flu should wear surgical masks.
 
Doctors should handle flu patients using N-95 mask and admitted patients with personal protection clothing and equipments. All hospitals and clinics should have enough surgical masks to be given at reception to every patient of cough with fever. providers should be vaccinated. People traveling to Pune, Nasik and urangabad should consult their doctors regarding precautions and treatment advice. All high risk patients, heart and diabetes patients should take flu vaccination, says Dr.Aggarwal.
 
In a survey conducted by HCFI, involving 63 schools both Public and Govt., involving 6047 students (2817 Girls and 3230 Boys), 76% of the students (4576) did not know about cough etiquette's role in prevention of flu. They answered that the best way to cough was either in the hands or in the handkerchief.
 
 According to a statement issued by IMA, swine flu is like an ordinary flu, symptoms of which are- fever, coryza, cough, sore throat, body aches and malaise. Occasionally, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and rash may also be present. Severe breathlessness, blood on coughing are ominous signs and need investigation and  hospitalisation. Symptoms ordinarily last for 1-2 weeks.
 
Cases of fever with coryza and breathlessness should not be neglected, and need admission in isolation and investigation for influenza (swine or otherwise). Influenza normally has its outbreaks intermittently, especially seasonal outbreaks are common.
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